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Stocks Close Flat After Erasing Sharp Losses
CNBC.com | January 30, 2012 | 05:19 PM EST

Stocks cut most of their earlier losses, but still finished in negative territory Monday as ongoing worries over the euro zone debt crisis kept investors from fully jumping in.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average shaved most of its losses but still finished lower by 6.74 points, or 0.05 percent, to end at 12,653.72.

BofA and P&G led the blue-chip decliners, while Microsoft and Verizon climbed.

The S&P 500 fell 3.32 points, or 0.25 percent, to finish at 1,313.01. And the Nasdaq slid 4.61 points, or 0.16 percent, to close at 2,811.94.

The CBOE Volatility Index, widely considered the best gauge of fear in the market, ended above 19.

Most S&P sectors closed in negative territory, led by financials, while techs turned higher.

“There’s not a lot of news to really push stocks either way today,” said Michael Sheldon, chief market strategist at RDM Financial Group. “The market does look like it’s ripe for some consolidation and at these levels, investors are nervous about chasing the market higher considering we’re not far from 52-week highs.”

EU leaders met in Brusselsto sign off on a permanent rescue fund for the euro zone. Greek Prime Minister Lucas Papademos will be among them as negotiators in Greece race to secure a debt swap deal.

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